An award for excellence (1998)

An award for excellence (1998)
In this photograph, actor Dilip Kumar (left) receives Pakistan’s highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence) from then president of Pakistan Rafiq Tarrar.

Dilip Kumar writes of his time in Peshawar as a child. He had a large joint family with his grandmother, parents and uncles. Their house is located in Mohallah Khudadad area in Peshawar, where the 92-year-old actor was born and spent his formative years. Later, the family moved to Bombay.

In his autobiography, Dilip Kumar also speaks of his school and college days, his fondness for football and how his friend Raj Kapoor told him he could make it in films, as he (Kapoor) was going to. But Dilip Kumar showed no aptitude for acting. Chance took him to Bombay Talkies and Devika Rani. The rest is history. He was helped along by Ashok Kumar and Shashadhar Mukherjee, who were pillars of Bombay Talkies.

Dilip Kumar has played urban and rural roles, tragedies and comedies. He also grew as an actor from role to role. The tragic roles  in his early career drove him to depression. He decided to consult a Harley Street specialist and was advised to switch to sunnier roles. So he took on positive roles such as Azaad (1955). He still had to do Devdas (1955) for Bimal Roy which has the classic tragic hero.

The autobiography also tells us about Saira Banu, a determined young woman, who wanted to marry him and succeeded. Saira Banu has been a key to his longevity.